On 24 May 2019, the Council of the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) voted unanimously to award life membership of the Association to Professor Emeritus John Ingleson, approving the following statement.
As an institution-builder, there is probably no one who has contributed more to the foundation of the ASAA than John Ingleson. As a young early career researcher, he was the note taker at the first informal meeting of the doyens of the field as they sat under a tree on Mount Ainslie, Canberra and dreamed up the idea of an association to bring together Asian experts and advocate for best policy in universities and with government. Over the years, Professor Ingleson was the most consistent contributor to the unrewarded work of keeping the institution rolling.
Following his role as note taker at the conceptualisation stage, John was the second ASAA Secretary from 1978 to 1986. He continued as treasurer from 1986 to 1988. He remained an active member, researcher and contributor throughout these early years, eventually being elected President for the period 1991-1992.
He was instrumental in bringing and hosting the 2012 ASAA conference to the University of Western Sydney where he moved to be Pro Vice Chancellor International. After the conference, John retired from the grind of university administration to be professor emeritus of Asian History at UNSW and reinvigorated his research on Indonesian history. Despite his supposed retirement status, however, he returned to active service of ASAA by becoming President for a second time in 2013-2014. Following this term, he continued as Vice President in 2015-2016.
This brief note on Professor Ingleson role as ASAA’s most consistent institution builder does not fully or adequately address his contributions as an academic researching and teaching on Indonesia throughout that period, or as a University leader rising to Deputy Vice Chancellor at two of the country’s powerhouses in UNSW and Western Sydney University.
But for John Ingleson, ASAA would not be the robust and influential society that it is today.
Professor Edward Aspinall, President ASAA
Professor Kent Anderson, Immediate Past President ASAA